Three Word Count Boosting Resources for NaNoWriMo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's easy to fall behind on your word count. 

Very easy, in fact. NaNoWriMo (or Camp NaNoWriMo) is hard. But the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month was not made to be easy. It was made to help you write your story.

There's no way anyone else can write your story for you. Only you can do it, and depressing as it sounds, no amount of procrastination will assist you in finishing your novel.

So to help you as Camp approaches, I've compiled a list of resources to help you attack your word goal for the month that are (hopefully!) at least a little bit fun.

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1. Word Wars 

Word Wars have proven to be the single most helpful motivator in getting me to write. 

If you haven't heard of a Word War, it's where two or more writers come together (virtually. :p) and write for a certain set amount of time, the most common being ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes. At the end of the allotted time you compare word counts with each other to see who won the "war." Honestly, it isn't as much as a competition rather than a great motivator, but you can view it either way.

If you don't have writing buddies to war with, never fear! There are places on the internet I've found that supply Word Wars, almost whenever you need them.

People will pin pictures asking for a Word War. You'll share your results and work out the times using the comment sections on that pin. If you want to join the board, just comment under one of the pins and someone will add you.

 If you're a Twitter person, there's an official account for NaNoWriMo Word Sprints.They only tweet during the NaNo months (April, July, and November), so make sure to take advantage of them while they last!

 Though this group is busiest during the NaNoWriMo season, there are over three hundred writers, and usually one of them's bound to war with you. When my friends aren't able to war, this is always the next place I go.


If you can't find any Word Wars with all three of the options I listed above, send me a message over the Camp NaNoWriMo site! | My profile |  Believe me, I am always in need of a Word War and would love to help you out.
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Word Crawls have become my new favorite thing.  I'll give a quick rundown on what they are:

A word crawl is a type of word sprint that collects a number of word wars, prompts, and sprints into one challenge. Generally themed, participants are encouraged to complete each portion of the challenge in order. Many of these challenges take the form of a choose your own adventure-style story, giving participants mini-rewards in the form of the progression of the story or punishments for failures. They may also be referred to as pub crawls, a reference to the real life activity of the same name from which the word crawls are derived.
(Taken from Wikiwrimo )

Some of my favorites are...

This one is awesome and very long -- it'll get you lots of words if you follow it all the way through.

Definitely for the Harry Potter fans out there.

And here's one for the Hunger Games people...

|| Camp Crawl ||
For all you Camp NaNoWriMo Campers.

Those are just a few of the many crawls that are on the NaNoWriMo forum. You can find loads more here: Word Wars, Prompts, Sprints.

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3. Word Sprints

Word Sprints are basically like Word Wars, but instead of racing with a time limit, you /sprint/ to a certain amount of words. (300, 500, etc...) Word Sprints are helpful when you have a certain amount of words left to reach your word count for the day, or there are plenty of instances in the Word Crawls (above) where you'll need to write x amount of words.

Two great websites for this are...

Write or Die | old | new |

Write or die. You can only choose one. 
(Ha, I'm kidding.) 

You'll notice that there are two version of Write or Die, the old, and the new. The old has less capabilities, though I view it as less distracting. The new is a lot more fancy. Both work well, it just depends on your preference.

Write or Die keeps you motivated with consequences. If you don't write anything in a certain amount of seconds (you can change your settings to the level of difficulty you want), flashing red lights, creepy sounds, or even your words disappearing can force you to keep writing instead of staring at the blinking cursor.

You can use Write or Die for setting a word goal, but it also has a timer if you choose to use that for Word Wars.

This is geared towards sprint with other writers and racing to a word goal. It's super fun, and for me, the most motivating way to write those words. Who doesn't like a little competition?

If you don't have anyone to sprint with, you can also create an account and sprint against yourself. Percentage bars keep you updated with how far along you are.

Like so.

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This was a long post, but I hope that it was helpful! I wish you luck with Camp -- be prepared for a crazy and awesome month. 

- Katie Grace 

Have you used any of these resources? Are there any other helpful websites that I should know of for Camp? 


  1. I've never used any of these. In fact, I've never even word warred, despite being part of writing groups. I'm definitely going to save this post for later, though - the word crawls sound fun.
    AND NO I AM NOT READY. I still have to fix my chronology and write out my outline! *collapses in a heap*

    1. *blinks* *gasps* You've never Word Warred? That is going to change this month. Be ready for Word Wars with me. :p
      DON'T WORRY, I'M NOT READY, EITHER. I still have to actually finish the project that I'm going to edit. Just a minor complication. Oops.

    2. Haha, oh dear, I'm slightly scared.
      Whoops. That could complicate things.

    3. I'm not sure if I should tell you that you should be scared or shouldn't. xD
      Yeah. Just a bit.

    4. OH, and I nearly forgot! I nominated you for the Liebster Award here:

    5. OH. Thank you!
      Except, I just did this. xD I'll make sure to keep it in mind in case I decide to do it again. Thanks! :)

  2. Word wars sometimes are the main thing which keep me motivated to write. *coughcough* So thankfully I have people with whom I can word war plenty during Camp. xD And you and I shall have to war epically. *nods*

  3. These word crawls look fantastic... I'm going to have to do one of these this Camp. :D The Fantasy link isn't working for me, though...

    1. Wait - no, I got it. *headdesk* :p

    2. Weird - I clicked on the link and it didn't work for me. I fixed it. I think. :p

  4. Cool! Word Wars are the best!

    Talking about writing, this is month #2 of my Writing Chain (its sort of like a tag, only something new every month!) and my July prompt is out if you would want to sign up this month. :) You can read about it here: ...I need all the participation I can get, lol, but dont feel bad if you arent interested :)

    1. They definitely are. :D

      And, sorry, but with the business of Camp NaNoWriMo, I won't be participating. Thanks for asking anyways. I hope you get lots of participation! :)

  5. These all sound awesome! I'm still not really ready to participate in Camp Nano, but I'll keep these resources in mind!

    1. They are awesome. :D
      Heh. Seems like a lot of us aren't ready. We'll all be scrambling majorly when July hits. :p

  6. Yay! Thank you so much for this list, Katie Grace. Awesome stuff all in one place. I really want to win this year, since the winners get a 50% off coupon for this interesting software.

    At any rate, I'm definitely going to try Word Crawls. They sound fun, and I've never done them before. However, word wars are some of my favorite things to do during Camp, even though I lose every time. :) I love Write or Die, and I've never even heard of Word Deck before. I signed up, and it looks pretty gosh-darn fun.

    Anyway, thanks for the list, and here's to hoping we all meet our goal this summer! :D

    1. You're welcome! And does the software happen to be scrinver? (I know that's not how you spell it, but I forgot how to. :p) I've heard a lot about it but have never taken the plunge and tried it out.

      Word crawls are AWESOME. And what's your username for WriteDeck? It'd be fun to do it together. :D
      Thanks for commenting. :)

    2. Aeon Timeline is sponsoring Camp NaNoWriMo this year, too. I've got my sights set on it. Since, you know, I've already got Scrivener. *cue hair flipping* But, anyway, you should definitely check out Scrivener's website, it's pretty cool. And very helpful for long-form writing. :)

      Awesomeness! My username is: writingabby // Yeah, I know, so creative, right?

      It'd be a lot of fun to sprint together!

    3. Oohhhh. I've heard of Aeon Timeline! You'll have to let me know how you like it. :D
      *looks in awe upon the Scrivener users* Do you just write in Scrivener, or use Word as well?

      Ha. xD Mine's katie grace, not entirely creative, either. :p We'll have to set up a time this Camp where we can sprint together. :D What times/days work best?

    4. Haha, definitely! I'm fiddling around with Aeon Timeline now, and it has a ridiculously huge learning curve. But it's pretty cool, if I may say so. :)

      Me loves Scrivener, so I writes in it exclusively. However, when critiquing/sending something to someone, I format the document(s) in Word. Industry standards, and all that jazz.

      Haha, great minds think alike, as they say. I've been sick this week, but the best time to Word with me is in the early morning from 5-9 AM, if that's okay. Any day except Sundays is awesome.

      What's the best time/day for you?

    5. Hm. I'm not exactly a morning person, but I think I could make it work. :P
      Actually, what timezone are you in? That could make a huge difference. xD I'm in central time.

  7. Ooh, these are all great ways to reach that wordcount. Word wars have got to be my favorite way to boost my word count because I love being able to war against other writers, who are always so encouraging. I agree that it's really not a competition because no matter whether I lose or win a word war, I still finish really happy with my progress. Word crawls are a ton of fun, too, but I really need to set apart a huge block of time if I need to do them since I like doing them straight through. I've never used Write Deck, but maybe I should try it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. You like doing the word crawls straight through? 0.0 Oh gosh, I can see why you'd need a lot of time. :p

      And you should totally check out WriteDeck! In April on #Mitchtam we were using it a lot to race and it was lots of fun. I hope you'll join in. :)
      You're welcome!

  8. Thanks for collecting all these great resources! I also use myWriteClub for word wars (they call them word sprints but it's more war according to your definition) and for keeping track of writing progress in general. And ooh, I've never heard of a word crawl. That sounds really fun. I've never used Write or Die, but I just might for July. Kamikaze mode sounds crazy, though.

    1. Kamikaze mode IS crazy, but strangely enough, it's the only way that motivates me enough to actually write. So far I haven't lost big chunks of words. Yet. xD

  9. These are lots of really handy methods. ^ ^ Word Wars and timing myself have been the most effective for me. :)


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